Nearly 50% of email users determine if they will open an email simply by the subject line. If you put in the time to craft an eye-catching subject line you will be rewarded with more email opens.

Here are a few things to keep in mind

  • Keep it short and be concise – under 50 characters or less. With more than half of email recipients reading their email on a mobile device this is becoming more and more important.
  • Tell your recipients what’s inside – select some key information from your email content and pull it through in your subject line. This might be the event name, location, date, or a simple "thank you."
  • Use action words – this will position you to use your subject line as a call to action.
  • Make your audience feel something – make your email recipients feel like they are special to you. Some examples: “We’re celebrating you in Austin” “An exclusive early invite” “Our gift to you.”
  • Personalize it - many email programs allow you to include the recipients first name in the subject line. Take advantage of this and include the recipient's name in the subject line.
  • Use numbers - this is a trick that is typically used in blog posts, but it also translates well to email subject lines. Obviously, this will need to be part of your email content, but using numbers can get you more opens. For example: "5 things you need to know this week" or "4 reasons to open this email."
  • Ask a question - Use the subject line as an opportunity to ask your recipient a question, for example: "Are you ready to warm up in Phoenix?" to promote an event taking place in Phoenix, AZ.

What not to do

  • Use all caps - don't insult your audience before they've had a chance to open your email. ALL CAPS is essentially raising your voice!
  • Use excessive punctuation - don't over do it with punctuation, for example: "Open to save!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Typically a subject line wouldn't contain punctuation, but if it must include it be sure to keep it simple.
  • Use your "from name" - restating your "from name" in your subject line is a waste of valuable subject line real estate, for example: "Winona State Visit Days are Approaching" 
  • Use words like “Urgent” “Open Now” “Hurry”